At my high school on Valentines Day, the office would be inundated with flowers for the students. Parents would send big balloon bouquets, et al to their kids to make them feel special. When a delivery was received, the office would make an announcement over the loudspeaker to the whole school for that student to come to the office to pick up their delivery. The kid would then come back to class with their treasure, showing it off for all to see. However, so many kids would get deliveries, that these announcements would be constant and very disruptive to class. Also, it had a great way of making those of us who would never get a delivery feel really inadequate and sad when our name was never called. Eventually, they changed their methods, putting all the deliveries in the gymnasium with a list on the door of who had flowers for pick up. Kids would crowd around the door, looking for their names, and those of us who knew we weren't on the list could avoid it completely. I knew that we didn't have a lot of money growing up and that flowers for me were saved for dance recitals, Nutcracker performances, and school plays, but still, the sting of Valentines Day would hit deep.
But my mom would always find a way to make the day special for us. One year, she picked us up from school--I must have been in 9th or 10th grade cause Christopher was there, too--and in the car she gave us these little bundles of Tootsie Roll pops. The bundle had all the flavors, and probably about 8 in the bundle. I loved (and still love) Tootsie Roll pops, and the sweet and simple gesture meant the world to me. I knew that it was what she could do, and that made it way more special than any vase full of roses. To this day, I look back on that moment and that gift with so much love and gratitude. It was one of the most special Valentines Days ever--one I will never ever forget.